FIRST HAND LEARNING E-NEWSLETTER
Vol. 5, No. 3


IN THIS ISSUE:

GET EXPERT ADVICE ON USING SCHOOLGROUNDS FOR TEACHING
STORIES OF SUMMERTIME SCIENCE
CITIZEN SCIENCE OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES FOR FIRSTHAND LEARNING
SHARING STUDENT WORK


1. JOIN FHL AT THE NAAEE ANNUAL CONFERENCE
The 2010 annual conference of the North American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE) takes place on September 28 – October 2 in Buffalo, New York. First Hand Learning will partner with local and national leaders in outdoor learning to present a day-long workshop focused on how to create schoolyard habitats and use them as academic resources for K-12 education.

This workshop, entitled Hands-On Ecological Restoration Creates Habitat And Environmental Leaders On Schoolgrounds, will take place on Wednesday, September 29th. Participants will visit multiple school sites in the city that have transformed outdoor areas into green learning spaces and will experience a variety of curricular activities designed to use areas such as these to promote multi-disciplinary environmental education.

Presenters include representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Earth Partnership for Schools (UW-Madison), Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, Buffalo Audubon Society and New York Audubon Society, in conjunction with NAAEE's Elementary and Secondary Education Commission.

There are many other exciting workshops, presentations, and exhibits from which to choose. Learn more about the conference at NAAEE’s website but do hurry if you want to attend. Online, advance registration closes on September 15th, though you will be able to register in person once the conference opens on the 28th.
We hope to see you there!
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First Hand Learning, Inc. offers a variety of professional development workshops, including ones focused on Outdoor Inquiries.
Contact us about your individual PD needs: inquiries@firsthandlearning.org.
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2. WHAT WE DID OVER SUMMER VACATION: ONE COMMUNITY CENTER’S STORY
Science inquiry doesn’t have to stop when the school year does, especially when students are able to attend local community centers that offer science investigations as part of their summer programming. In many ways, summer science offers lots of benefits. The weather is great, so getting outside to explore is a pleasure. The pressures of the formal educational curriculum are absent. And time for extended investigation is more available.

One summer science success story unfolded at the Gloria J. Parks Community Center in Buffalo, NY. Take a moment to get inspired by their short video (so many great shots of kids investigating!). You can read about the details of the program too.

Interested in finding opportunities for out-of-school science? Check out this handy website, which offers you a chance to search for programs in your area. If you are interested in volunteering find out your options through the United Way.

Science Firsthand is an NSF-sponsored science-mentoring program for urban youth. If you are interested in developing a similar out-of-school program contact us for more details at inquiries@firsthandlearning.org.

3. WATCH THAT NEST!
Citizen Science projects offer another great way to take part in science investigations. Anyone - adults, children, classes, afterschool groups – can participate by collecting data firsthand to be used by scientists in large, longitudinal studies. One great program is Cornell University’s NestWatch.

By observing nests, counting chicks, and submitting the local data they collect, citizen scientists help researchers accumulate enough information to learn about the effects of climate change, land-use, and disease on the nesting success of birds. A brief video and article by the NSF give a great overview to this valuable program.

4. NEEDED: STUDENT WORK!
As the school year commences, it seems a good time to put out a request for student work. Throughout the upcoming months, we would love to share your photographs, websites, and student journal and notebook entries with our on-line community of dedicated science inquiry educators. Please consider submitting examples of students’ investigations as the year progresses so that we can learn from each other. Contact us at inquiries@firsthandlearning.org. Thanks!
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The First Hand Learning Catalog offers nature journals, hands-on science kits, posters, and more. Go to http://www.firsthandlearning.org/catalog/catalog_frameset.html
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We hope you found this edition of the FIRST HAND LEARNING E-NEWSLETTER informative. Please contact us with any comments, suggestions, or questions you may have by emailing us at: inquiries@firsthandlearning.org.

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